Vintage Saturday: Rules for a Girl On Her Own, Vogue’s Book of Etiquette 1948

Cherished readers, today we will take a look at some vintage advice from Vogue’s Book of Etiquette copyright 1948. This excerpt is from the section “A Girl On Her Own” subsection “Men” (page 39 in this edition)  This mentions the strictest behavior rules and here they are, in their retro glory with my thoughts in parentheses.

  1. Never dine alone with a married man, unless his wife is your great friend. (Good advice, but be wary)
  2. Never accept an invitation through a man to the house of someone else. (Never accept an invitation from anyone except the house’s owner, in The Lady’s opinion)
  3. If you have met a man and his wife together, and the man asks you to a party at his house, do not accept. His wife should invite you. If she is away, of course there is no discourtesy implied, and if he invites you to a party, you may accept. (The Lady disagrees with this, by the way. She would say no  under any circumstances)
  4. Never drink anything alcoholic, except sherry, or a glass of wine with dinner. (The Lady would say a margarita is also fine. Just don’t get drunk.)
  5. Never encourage stories that are risque. (The lady agrees to a point. A little double entrendre is ok.)
  6. Never allow a man to come into your apartment if you are alone in it, or to stay on when other guests have left. (In our modern times, this is somewhat passé , but there is nothing wrong with not asking for trouble with a man you have not known for very long.)
  7. Never go alone with a man to his apartment, or stay on his apartment when other guests have gone. (Again, passé, but I stand my assertion that you shouldn’t risk it with a man you do not know well.)
  8. Never go alone with a man to his hotel room, even if he has a sitting room. (Agreed.)
  9. Never accept a valuable present from a beau or possible beau. (I agree that a bad impression can be made to others.)

What is very clear from the advice in this section is that, at least in 1948, a woman had to be vigilant and guard her reputation. Times have changed, yes, and the rules are more relaxed, but there is certainly nothing wrong with being old-fashioned and caring about these impressions. I would even dare say that some of these sound guidelines should come back into fashion.

Best Vintage Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

The Lady Goes Shopping

Cherished readers, I stepped out today to visit one of my favorite antique malls. This place is huge and has everything you could possibly want under one roof. I love to browse their large selection of books and have built my collection of vintage etiquette books from this one place. Today I was not disappointed.

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I found the 1945 edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette. Now, this is not the first copy of Emily Post that I own, but my other is a much newer edition. Part of why I enjoy collecting these volumes so much is that I am able to see snapshots of social mores and then compare them to other editions to see how much things have changed. I am positive that I will enjoy reading this and have even more fun sharing with you the nuggets of wisdom that I will glean from its pages. These old books are my textbooks!

So, while today is not a true blog about etiquette, I wanted to share with you my find. Back to the mannerly stuff tomorrow! I will find something from this book to touch upon for my next blog!

Best Shopping (and Reading!) Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett